(LINA) – The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Resident Representative, Oluremi Sogunro, has said the Government of Liberia and other partners need to support midwives to end preventable maternal mortality across the country.
Sugunro pointed out that midwives are people who provide more than 80 percent of all sexual and reproductive health services, which include caring for mothers and babies throughout pregnancy and childbirth, provision of contraceptives, and management of sexually transmitted infections.
Speaking Tuesday when his institution launched the Rebuilding Maternal Health Services in Post Ebola-Liberia, Sogunro emphasized the need for an adequate policy framework and better working conditions to ensure proper deployment and retention of well-trained midwives.
“Ninety-nine percent of maternal mortality occurs in developing countries and as such we need to urgently address the global shortage of midwives and ensure that they are competent and properly educated and trained to global standard,” he emphasized.
According to him, in sub-Saharan Africa, only half of all live births are delivered with the assistance of a skilled birth attendant, adding that every woman deserves access to quality care during pregnancy and childbirth.
He stated that the government and other partners should focus on developing midwives in bringing visibility to the value of work performed by them during pregnancy and childbirth, noting that midwives played an important role in humanitarian emergencies during the recent Ebola virus disease.
UNFPA has a long history of supporting Sexual Reproductive Health Services and the reduction of maternal and newborn deaths in Liberia.
The agency is also widely noted for helping the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to combat the fistula sickness, an assistance it is still providing.